The Beggar's Opera is a ballad opera, a satiric play using some of the conventions of opera, but without the recitative. It is one of the watershed plays in Augustan drama. The lyrics of the airs in the play are set to popular broadsheet ballads, opera arias, church hymns, and folk tunes of the time. The original run of The Beggar's Opera, of 62 successive performances, was the longest run in the theatre up to that time. — Excerpted from The Beggar's Opera on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.